Beaver bids tearful farewell to departing mayor
BEAVER -- It was a tearful farewell Nov. 6 as Beaver Mayor Chad Hipps took his leave of the town where he served as mayor for the last two years.
Conducting his last meeting as mayor, Hipps noted his position and one on the council are open.
"I highly encourage anyone and everyone to step up and be part of the council and mayor. I've enjoyed every moment, and I've learned a lot."
Before town clerk Mary Hill read Hipps' resignation letter, Hipps said with a catch in his voice, "What you have here is special. The first morning after we moved in, there were fresh cinnamon rolls to greet us. We felt so welcomed. You don't see that kind of community anymore."
Hipps, an investigator with the state police who has an office in the county sheriff's department is moving to Berryville to be close to his and his wife Tammy's jobs.
Council heard a presentation by local rock climbers Nick Cross and Heather Quinney. They are proposing to drill semi-permanent anchors into Poker Bluff for rock climbing. They discussed environmental, safety, liability and usage impacts to the bluff and the town.
Park manager Jim Dikes and councilwoman Cathy Shusta, both former climbers, expressed reservations on permitting the activity because of environmental impacts and impacts on other users of the bluff, such as hikers and fishermen.
Although Cross said he had no plans "at this time" to teach climbing classes at the bluff, he referred to it as a "good training ground" for climbers and said he anticipates "a couple climbers a week," with frequent use on weekends.
Hipps and other councilmen said they could see both pros and cons of allowing the activity. No decision was made.
Dikes gave a detailed report of park financials for the year and a comparison with 2005. The park brought in $53,699 in revenue in 2006 compared to $41,108 in 2005. It also spent $69,125 in 2006, compared to $37,620 in 2005. Of those expenditures, $32,000 went to capital expenditures as opposed to $3,900 last year.
Work this year included $3,000 on the bathrooms, $3,000 on the electrical system, $7,700 on landscaping, $8,000 on the sewer system, $3,700 on marketing, $800 on the water system and $5,500 on other items.
"We had a tremendous amount of expenses this year that we won't have next year," Dikes said. "I really think next year will be a very good year." Council approved his report.
Hill did not have comparison financials for 2005 and 2006 but said she would get them in time for 2007 budget planning. The treasurer's report for October shows income of $2,429.80 and expenses of $922.42, leaving the town with a net income of $1,507.38, added to income from the rural fire department of $564, for a net gain of $2,071.38. The council approved the financial report.
In other business, the council:
* Approved up to $1,000 for a camera security system for the park.
* Approved councilman Duane Kriesel as a signer on the checking account until a new mayor is appointed.
* Approved a motion for Kriesel to dispose of the old shed behind the town hall.
* Discussed building rental cabins in the park subject to Corps of Engineers approval.
* Heard Roger Shoffitt say he would be interested in the position of mayor.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at the community center.